Dial Indicator off Dial

Dial Indicators Falling off Watch Dials

I want to talk a bit about how to fix a watch dial that has been damaged from a drop.  Sometimes, when a watch drops onto the floor, some of the pieces that are glued onto the dial fall off.  

These decorative items are called indicators and bezels.  These are the markers showing the number locations around the dial, encircling the date indicator, and some of the sub-dials, as in this example.

Most of the time, these indicators are pressed onto the dial, which may have small holes in it, and the indicators may have small pins that fit into those holes.  Other times, they are just glued onto the dial, and can fall off easily of banged hard enough.

I want to show you how to fix these, or at lease learn how we in the industry can fix your dial when the indicators and numbers fall off for what ever reason.

Watch the Video Here!

Supplies we use

There is a list of supplies you should have ready to go when you are going to fix your watch dial.  These are combinations of tools and some supplies you will need.

  1. Make sure you have the watch, and that all the indicators or decorations are available in the watch.
  2. Crystal Cement.  This is the slow drying glue that we use for crystals.  You can use a UV curing glue also if you choose.
  3. Case Back opener.  There are several styles of case back openers you will use, but only one type for the watch you have.  Make sure you have the correct one for your watch.
  4. Soft wood sticks.  You can get these anywhere.  If you watched the video, the reason for using the soft stick is that it leaves no marks on the dial if you need to use it to slightly move the indicator.
  5. Watchmaker screwdrivers.  You may need these to open the watch, pull the crown and stem, or as a leverage device to get the movement out of the case.
  6. Tweezers.  These make it easy to handle the pieces.  They are small, and you won’t be able to place them correctly with your hand.
  7. Scrap Paper.

Having all these supplies together and ready to go will make it easy for you to perform this repair.

If the loose bits lock up the hands, check the movement for damageafter repair

Preparing the surface of the dial

First, make sure you take the watch apart carefully and most important, make sure you don’t loose any of the indicators.  

Place the indicators on a tray so that you can sort them out, and find the correct placement of each.  Numbered indicators are simple.  Line indicators may be different for specific parts of the dial.  For instance, the indicators at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 positions may be different from the others.  Logo emblems may come loose, and you will have to know where they get glued to.

Once you’ve sorted those out, the next step is to clean the dial with the wood stick or some Rodico putty to remove glue residue. Once your happy, and you’ve laid out all the parts, you can move to the next step.

Lets Start Replacing the indicator parts

With your tweezers, wooden stick and parts nicely placed on our workspace, get the glue ready.  Some of these types of glue will dry in 3 to five minutes.  Keep that in mind.

If it takes you a few minutes to place one indicator, that’s ok, but keep in mind you may have to put some more glue on the paper for the next one.  So it is a good idea to make sure you only place as much glue on the paper as you’ll use before it begins to get harder.  It is difficult to get the glue to work properly after several minutes.

With the glue on a piece of paper, use your tweezers to gently gold an indicator or bezel.  Dab the underside of the indicator on the glue, getting only a small amount on it so that it doesn’t smear on the dial.  Place the indicator onto the dial where it needs to be glued. 

If it isn’t in the perfect position, use the wood stick to move it in place.  Try not to smear any glue.  Once in place, allow it to dry or expose it to a UV light for curing.  UV curing can be done when all indicators have been glued and placed into position.

Take note as to the placement.  Check to see if the indicator you just placed will interfere with the watch hands, or anything else that moves on the dial.  If it is all set, move to the next one if you have more, and repeat the process.

Finishing up the job!

When all the indicators have been placed, glued and cured, you can then examine the watch one more time to make sure that there is no debris on the dial, such as excess glue, dust or anything else that is floating around.

If you have any excess glue, use the wooden stick and lightly rub off the glue, but make sure not to scratch the dial or break off any of the indicators.  If you’re happy with your results, you can then put the watch back together, and wear it with joy again!



If you have any questions about how to proceed that you didn’t get out of this article, or by watching the video, please feel free to ask me a question.

I prefer that you contact me from our facebook page here:  www.facebook.com/myjewelrybench

You can send a message to me, and I usually respond within a few minutes.  Let me know what you’re having issues with and I’m happy to help.

Take care and happy Fixing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *